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Pathogens, Bugs and Germs Science

Performing Tests

Hands on science activity where children learn about what germs are, how  they  spread and ways in which we can prevent the spread. Children also learn about the COVID-19 virus.   

Microbes

Attention to Detail

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Attention to Detail

Children will learn the through hands on activity the differences between Bacteria and Virus and how they can be easily spread through families and communities.

Children will perform a variety of hands-on science activities including the construction and modelling of a virus to identify its key features. Children will undertake experiments to assist in their understanding of how virus and bacteria spread within a community and population. Through practical activities and discussion, we will aim to get the key message home of how everyone can do their part to minimise and stop the spread of viruses.

'Germs' What are Microbes?

An introduction to microbiology, children learn about ‘Good ‘and ‘Bad’ microbes, their advantages and disadvantages. They get to explore some hands-on experiments demonstrating this.

 

Microbes: are organisms that are too small to be seen with the unaided eye. there are five major groups if microbes. Viruses, Bacteria, Archaea, Fungi and Protists.

Bacteria

Protists

Bacteris are found EVERYWHERE and all over our bodies too.

Bacteria exist in three different shapes and this is how they are identified by scientists:

Balls (Straphylococous)

Spirals (Campylobacteer)

Rods (Lactobacillus)

 

Protists are not fungi, plants or animals.

Most are unicellular ( single cell) and include plants like algae

Virus

Viruses are parasites -they need to live inside the cells of animals, plants and even other microbes to live!

They are the smallest of all the microbes. Most viruses will make us ill. 

Fungi

COVID-19

Archaea

Fungi are the giants of all the microbes.#

Fungi can be good and bad. A goof fungi can be used to make bread (yeast) or antibiotics. Bad fungi can cause mould on bread or diseases such as athletes foot.

Archaea looks similar in size and structure to bacteria but some in a variety of cell shapes. 

Archaea are not known to cause disease.

They live in extreme conditions. 

Good Microbes

Do NOT cause disease

Microbes make at least half the oxygen we breathe

Microbes live on the roots of plants and help them absorb food and water.

Responsible for creating food such as cheese, vinegar, yogurt, wine and chocolate.

Bad Microbes


Bad microbes are known as pathogens but sometimes called bugs or germs.
Some microbes can be harmful to humans and cause disease or illness
Disease causing microbes that spread from person to person are known as infectious.
Bad microbes love unhygienic and dirty places.
Microbes multiply very fast and can only take one bad microbe to get inside our bodies to make us ill. 
Everyday illnesses caused by virus for example ear ache, colds, flu, sore throats and most coughs. 

Using Ultra violet (UV) light to investigate how clean surfaces, objects and our hands are.

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Terms 

Microbiologist are scientists and researchers who study and discover new species of microbes.

Virologists are medical researchers or scientists who study viruses and the diseases caused by them.

Covid-19

Though many people refer to it in short as a virus, Covid-19 is actually the disease caused when somebody is infected with Sars-CoV-2.

SARS

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome is a viral respiratory disease. It was first identified in 2003 in China, and spread to four other countries.

MRNA

Messenger RNA is a copy of a DNA strand, used in the process of synthesising proteins. When used in a vaccine, it encourages human cells to produce harmless versions of the protein spikes on the outside of a virus cell, allowing the immune system to produce defences against them, and against the virus itself.

Team Work

Programme of Activities

  • Herd Immunity (Jenga with a Twist) – This activity demonstrates the concept of herd immunity to children and why vaccination is important in stopping the spread of diseases. children will have fun playing the game but also taking away key information of how herd immunity is achieved to protect the majority of a population against diseases.

  • Hand Shake Hazard (UV Germs)- Children will learn the about importance of good hand hygiene through simple steps such as thorough hand washing can reduce the spread of bacteria from person to person. Children will get to experiment with glow germ or equivalent and using UV touches to observe surfaces and also their hands.  Children will be observing closely and recording their observation.

  • The key message is that thorough hand washing can reduce the spread of germs.

  • Scared Germs- This activity is a fantastic way to demonstrate to children and also for children to visualise the importance of hand washing using soap and water for at least 20 seconds to get rid of germs. The water acts as a skin, the pepper acts as the germ by touching the surface with no soap, nothing happens (which means the germs are still on your hands). However, once you apply some soap to the surface of the water (your skin), the pepper (representing germs) immediately disperses away and washes off. Children will learn about 'hydrophilic' (water loving) and 'hydrophobic' (water hating) properties of soap. 

  • Build a Virus- In this activity children will build a model of a virus, identify and label the main features, such as the spike protein, Messenger RNA. Children will learn and be able to name the main features of a virus and discuss how a virus behaves.

  • Sneeze Zone (Catch It, Kill It, Bin It)-Many diseases are airborne and can spread in tiny droplets of water or aerosols that people cough or sneeze into the air. Aerosols in a sneeze can travel at more than 100 kilometres per hour and cover a distance of more than four metres! (Naked Scientists, 2009 and MythBusters, 2010).

  • Using spray water bottles, participants can test the range of a single simulated sneeze and its potential to infect people. The activity goes on to demonstrate the impact of covering the nose and mouth with a hand or tissue to highlight the importance of respiratory hygiene in preventing the spread of infection. Children will measure and record their findings.

  • Culture Your Own- Children learn to culture (grow) their own bacteria using nutrient agar and swabbing various surfaces and observe bacteria growing

Pathogens

Together Making Science Fun, Inclusive, Inspiring, and an Unforgettable and Memorable Experience   

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